HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -Last week, Hawaii News Now broke the story of a Maui police officer who apparently had a habit of using his police powers to hound and harass women he met on the job.
The story came out only because of one brave young woman who told friends that he was soliciting her after arresting her for drunk driving.
She was afraid to go directly to the police, so her family and friends told her she should reach out to Hawaii News Now.
Ultimately, the recording she made of the officer’s creepy manipulation and his clear willingness to blow the case in court led the department to publicly seek out other potential victims, and immediately arrest the officer.
In the past departments facing this kind of scandal in Hawaii have said they don’t discuss pending investigations and send the case into their secretive disciplinary processes and the outcome never made public.
That kind of secrecy is one reason there are so many people, not just women, who do not trust police departments to police their own.
Let’s hope the way Maui handled this case as disturbing as it is will help convince law enforcement at all levels – that being transparent about their problems will make people more willing to trust them with theirs